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Super Smash Bros. Melee

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Super Smash Bros. Melee

SSBM-Box Art.jpg

SSBM JP Boxart.jpg

SSBM European Boxart.jpg

North American box art
Developer(s) HAL Laboratory
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Designer(s) Masahiro Sakurai
Release date(s) Japan November 21, 2001
NA December 3, 2001
Europe May 24, 2002
Australia May 31, 2002
Platform(s) Nintendo GameCube
Supported languages Japanese, American English, British English, European French, Italian, German, European Spanish
Rating(s) ESRB: Teen
PEGI: 12+
CERO: All Ages
Game chronology
Super Smash Bros. Super Smash Bros. Brawl
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Super Smash Bros. Melee (often referred to in short-hand as simply Melee) is a 2.5D fighting game for the Nintendo GameCube developed by HAL Laboratory and published by Nintendo. This game is different from other fighting games in its style, in that fighters battle in complex arenas with the goal being forcing the opponent(s) off the stage rather than draining their health. It is the second in the series after Super Smash Bros. for the Nintendo 64, and precedes Super Smash Bros. Brawl for the Nintendo Wii.


There are a total of 26 playable characters in Melee, 15 of which are accessible from the start. The other 11 can be unlocked through the single-player mode, or by playing VS matches. A * indicates that the fighter was playable in the original Super Smash Bros. on the Nintendo 64.



Kirby (as a fighter)[edit]

Kirby's artwork from Super Smash Bros. Melee

Kirby is one of the starter characters in this game. He is notable for his small stature, light weight, and multiple midair jumps. At first glance, he seems largely unchanged from his appearance in Smash 64, but many of his moves and attributes have been tweaked, which has resulted in drastic changes in his tournament viability between the two games. Despite this, he is a good choice for casual play and for beginners, due to his versatility, and his ability to copy his opponents' special moves.

Kirby has high traction while on the ground, meaning that he doesn't slip much while dashing or turning, but has a short wave-dash.


Most of Kirby's attacks come from his appearance in Smash 64, with many of those based on moves from the Kirby series, though some have changed between 64 and Melee. Kirby's attacks are as follows:

Standard Ground[edit]

  • Neutral - Kirby jabs his opponent rapidly, similar to Vulcan Jab.
  • Forward tilt - Kirby does a spinning kick forward - with decent range.
  • Up tilt - Kirby kicks upward behind him, dealing damage at a very large range.
  • Down tilt - Kirby kicks forward while crouching, sweeping the floor.
  • Dash attack - Kirby bursts into a fireball and flies forward. Based on the Burning ability. This is the only dash attack in the entire 'Smash Bros.' series that will go over ledges.
  • Forward smash - Kirby does a strong kick as he steps forward. Based on Spin Kick.
  • Up smash - Kirby performs a bicycle kick, doing a back-flip in the process.
  • Down smash - Kirby spins with his feet out, hitting on both sides.

Standard Aerial[edit]

  • Neutral aerial - Kirby performs the 'Twinkle Star' move, spinning with arms and feet extended outward.
  • Forward aerial - Kirby kicks forward three times in succession, with the last hit dealing the most knockback.
  • Back aerial - Kirby kicks out with both feet behind, dealing a quick hit.
  • Up aerial - Kirby flip-kicks upward in midair, dealing good knockback.
  • Down aerial - Kirby drills with both feet downward, which can be used to send foes down.


  • Forward - Kirby flips with his opponent in the air, then pile-drives them into the ground. Based on the Pile Driver move.
  • Back - Kirby performs a backward suplex on his enemy. Based on the Backdrop ability. Kirby and his opponent can go off the edge of the stage with this move.
  • Up - Kirby flies up off-screen with his foe, then crashes back down. This move is based on the Air Drop technique.
  • Down - Kirby throws his opponent to the ground and pummels them with his feet, similar to the Quick Stamping technique.


  • Inhale - Kirby inhales, which will allow him to swallow up fighters who are close-by (within range of a grab). From there, Kirby can either spit them back out as a temporary Star Bullet, or 'swallow' them to copy their neutral special move (and gain a hat based on the fighter swallowed). Kirby can discard this move by taunting or will lose it if he is hit by a strong attack (at random).
  • Hammer - Kirby pulls out his hammer, and swings it after some delay, causing good damage and knockback. In the air, Kirby will do a Hammer Spin instead.
  • Final Cutter - Based on the last hit of the Cutter combo, Kirby takes out a blade, rises into the air, then crashes back down, releasing a shock wave on landing. Kirby can use this move to gain some height when recovering and can grab the ledge with it, but it can be easy to intercept. When falling downward, Kirby can send his opponent flying downward with the blade if timed right.
  • Stone - Kirby transforms into stone and crashes downward. He is invulnerable to all attacks except for grabs while in this form and will damage opponents he collides with while falling.

Tournament Standing[edit]

Kirby is currently ranked second to last on the Super Smash Bros. Melee tier list - in 25th place, as produced by the Smashboards community. The main reason for this is Kirby's inability to approach his opponent, coupled with his slow speed, weak attacks, and poor survivability. This allows him to be easily combo'd by most of the rest of the cast, especially those near the top of the tier list. His only good match-ups are against Roy and Bowser.


Many of the stages in Melee are taken from other games published by Nintendo. Some stages which were originally in Super Smash Bros. can be unlocked as secret stages.

Starter Stages[edit]

  • Icicle Mountain
  • Princess Peach's Castle
  • Kongo Jungle
  • Great Bay
  • Yoshi's Story
  • Fountain of Dreams
  • Corneria
  • Rainbow Cruise
  • Jungle Japes
  • Hyrule Temple
  • Yoshi's Island
  • Green Greens
  • Venom
  • Brinstar
  • Onett
  • Mute City
  • Pokémon Stadium
  • Mushroom Kingdom


  • Flat Zone
  • Brinstar Depths
  • Fourside
  • Big Blue
  • Poké Floats
  • Mushroom Kingdom II
  • Battlefield
  • Final Destination
  • Dream Land
  • Yoshi's Island
  • Kongo Jungle

Kirby Stages[edit]

There are three stages based on Kirby games. They are the Fountain of Dreams, Green Greens, and Dream Land.

The Fountain of Dreams stage has the fountain in the background, out of which water flows to create a shallow pool. There are three platforms, two of which are moved vertically by a jet of water. The music that plays on this stage is a remix of the Gourmet Race theme from Kirby Super Star.

Green Greens is a stage based on Kirby's Dream Land which features Whispy Woods, and two columns of falling Star Blocks with the occasional Bomb Blocks. Whispy acts as an obstacle by blowing at the characters, and dropping apples onto the stage once in a while. The background of the stage has what appears to be an ocean with star-shaped islands, and a rainbow behind the stage. The music is a remix of the Green Greens theme from the original Kirby's Dream Land.

The Dream Land stage from the original Super Smash Bros. game is reused as an unlockable stage in Melee. The level consists of three floating platforms above a bigger main one, and Whispy Woods as an obstacle. Unlike in Green Greens, Whispy doesn't drop apples in this stage and has less flexible movement. King Dedede and Bronto Burts can be seen flying in the background occasionally. The music is the original Smash Bros. remix of the Gourmet Race theme from Kirby Super Star.


Many items from the Kirby series can appear during standard gameplay. These include:

  • Apple - Dropped by Whispy Woods on the 'Green Greens' stage, and can also appear elsewhere. Will act either as a Food item or as a projectile weapon. Has a small chance of exploding if the latter.
  • Maxim Tomato - Reduces up to 50% damage.
  • Parasol - A battering item. While held, fighters can fall slowly and cover a good distance vertically.
  • Star Rod - A battering item that also fires out up to 16 stars if swung hard. Some fighters can fire more than one at a time with certain moves.
  • Warp Star - When a fighter mounts it, they will fly haphazardly upward, then crash down, dealing big explosive damage to any enemy caught in its path. The landing site can be altered slightly.


Among the collectable trophies in Melee, there are several depicting characters and objects from the Kirby series.

Kirby series trophies in Super Smash Bros. Melee  
Trophy Description Games/moves listed Notes
A denizen of the far-off, peaceful planet Pop Star, Kirby became a citizen of Dream Land after defeating King Dedede. Even though he's only about eight inches tall, Kirby is an extremely skilled technician. He has the unique ability to absorb the powers of his enemies, and his elastic body makes him a versatile adventurer. Kirby's Dream Land
Kirby [Smash]
Kirby's small size lets him dodge many attacks, but his light weight makes him fly far when struck. Using his ability to inflate, he can jump five times. His Swallow attack creates wild combos; not only can he copy foes' moves, but he'll also put on special hats and mimic their voices. His Hammer is unwieldy but powerful. B: Swallow
Smash B: Hammer
Kirby can actually jump six times in Super Smash Bros. Melee, if his initial ground jump is counted.
Kirby [Smash]
Because of his light weight, Kirby is always in danger of being sent flying, but his ability to puff up and fly allows him to come back from amazing distances. His Final Cutter strikes on the way up and on the way down, and it sends out a beam of force upon landing. Kirby transforms into various objects and crashes down when he uses his Stone technique. Up & B: Final Cutter
Down & B: Stone
Maxim Tomatoes cure 50 percentage points of your accumulated damage. Once you eat one, after a brief moment, your damage meter slowly drains the appropriate amount, regardless of whether or not you pick up another item right afterwards. In the Kirby series, these juicy, health-restoring items were a favorite of the pink hero. Kirby's Dream Land
The Warp Star originated as Kirby's ride: it helped the ponderous puffball get around at high speed. Hop on the Warp Star in Super Smash Bros. Melee, and your character will rapidly launch up and off the screen. You'll return in a flash, causing an explosion as you hit the ground. Try holding a direction to alter your landing! Kirby's Dream Land
This magic wand holds 16 star shots and sends foes flying at a low angle when thrown. It's most powerful when Captain Falcon or Sheik performs a Smash Attack while holding it. In Kirby's Adventure, the Star Rod is the secret power behind the Fountain of Dreams. King Dedede steals the Star Rod in order to seal away the nasty Cloaked Nightmare. Kirby's Adventure
The Parasol, which was originally used by Kirby, can be used as a weapon to bludgeon enemies. Even better is the fact that players can open it while airborne and float lazily back toward safe ground. It's incredibly useful in returning to the field of play after an opponent gets the better of you and sends you flying. Kirby's Dream Land
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Kirby Hat 1
Here's Kirby sporting several results of his Copy ability. In Link's hat he can shoot arrows, while Mario's cap gives him access to Fireballs. The Donkey Kong suit offers up a Giant Punch, while Samus's helmet allows Kirby to fire off charged-up energy shots. Finally, while wearing the Yoshi hat, Kirby can swallow enemies and turn them into eggs. Super Smash Bros. Melee
SSBM Kirby Hat 2 Trophy.png
Kirby Hat 2
Kirby's got several of his finest hats on here. In Ness's baseball cap, he can use the power of PSI to unleash PK Flash, while Captain Falcon's visor gives him the ability to unleash a huge punch. His adorable Pikachu cap comes complete with stored-up electric charges, allowing him to shock his foes, and the Fox ears come with a matching Blaster. Super Smash Bros. Melee
SSBM Kirby Hat 3 Trophy.png
Kirby Hat 3
With all of these hats, Kirby could open his own haberdashery! Peach's crown lets him use Toad, while the Ice Climber parka allows him to shoot ice blocks. Kirby has Fire Breath in the Bowser horns, and he can copy Zelda in both her forms. In Zelda's headdress he can use Nayru's Love, while Sheik's wrap gives him a needle arsenal. Super Smash Bros. Melee
SSBM Kirby Hat 4 Trophy.png
Kirby Hat 4
Looks like Kirby's copied a bunch of hidden characters! In Luigi's hat, he can shoot green Fireballs, while copying Mewtwo gives him the power to throw Shadow Balls. Copying Mr. Game & Watch lets Kirby hurl sausages, and doing the same to Jigglypuff earns him a Rollout move. Marth's hair comes complete with a powerful Shield Breaker move. Super Smash Bros. Melee
SSBM Kirby Hat 5 Trophy.png
Kirby Hat 5
Secret hats galore! In Pichu's hat Kirby can shoot out electricity, while Dr. Mario's headgear gives him Megavitamins. When Kirby wears Falco's beak, he gets to use Falco's powerful Blaster; by the same token, he can fire arrows while in Young Link's cap. When Kirby copies Ganondorf, he gets the Warlock Punch, and copying Roy produces a Flare Blade. Super Smash Bros. Melee
A boss enemy from Kirby's Dream Land, Whispy Woods is a big tree that shoots whirlwinds at Kirby. It isn't the toughest enemy: all Kirby has to do is avoid the occasional whirlwind, suck in apples that fall down, and then shoot them back at the tree. In Super Smash Bros. Melee, Whispy Woods is quite the blowhard. Kirby's Dream Land
This mystical fountain in Dream Land uses the power of the Star Rod to create a gush of pleasant dreams that flow like water. The dreams then become a fine mist and drift over the land, bringing peaceful rest to one and all. It's been confirmed that there are identical facilities on other planets near Pop Star. Kirby's Adventure
The last line refers to the fountains found on other planets in Milky Way Wishes.
When Kirby swallows a fire-wielding enemy, he transforms into Fire Kirby. Not only does he breathe fire in this form, but he can also sprout flames on his entire body and damage enemies by crashing into them. Fire Kirby wears the bright red headdress of his enemy Burning Leo. The hat turns into a helpful weapon when thrown. Kirby's Adventure
Kirby dons a warrior's headband and becomes a fierce fighter when he swallows an enemy skilled at physical attacks. Fighter Kirby uses many colorful punching and kicking moves as he overpowers his enemies with his sparring skills. The Vulcan Jab is just one of the many techniques Kirby can use thanks to his copying power. Flag of NA.svg
Kirby Super Star

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Kirby's Fun Pak

When Kirby swallows a ball enemy, he turns into a ball and can bounce off of floors and walls. It's tough to control, but well worth it for the strong attack power it gives Kirby. After his debut in Kirby's Adventure, Ball Kirby has popped up in several more Kirby games, such as Kirby's Pinball Land and Kirby's Block Ball. Kirby's Adventure
Many delicate creatures like this one inhabit Dream Land. They generally live carefree lives and have never considered themselves to be followers of King Dedede. Waddle Dees are innocent and generally harmless to man and beast. While they have virtually no offensive or defensive power, they'll sometimes try to wield a parasol. Kirby's Dream Land
Despite what this description states, there are several Waddle Dees who can definitely be considered to be Dedede's followers.
Dedede's the self-proclaimed king of Dream Land. While he says he's king, Dedede performs no administrative functions and the citizens of Dream Land continue to live as they always have. He's able to suck in air and fly like Kirby does, but only as a result of the vigorous training he undertook after being bested by Kirby. Kirby's Dream Land
Rick made his debut alongside Kirby's other friends, Coo and Kine. He looks like a meek hamster, but when he puffs himself up, he's bigger than Kirby. When he's carrying Kirby on his back, he can mimic Kirby's copy powers with some special moves of his own. Rick's claim to fame is his exceptional traction on icy surfaces. Kirby's Dream Land 2
While Kirby swallows enemies in order to copy their powers, Gooey wraps them up in his tongue to steal their abilities. In Kirby's Dream Land 2, he occasionally appeared inside of a bag, but by Kirby's Dream Land 3, he was a full-fledged partner. He could be controlled by setting him up as Player Two. Kirby's Dream Land 2
The mysterious head of the Meta-Knights, he wields his sword with dignity. He delivered his sword to Kirby and demanded single combat in a show of his knightly honor; his strict adherence to his code of ethics makes him a rarity in Dream Land. Sometimes he throws off his cape in battle. It occasionally transforms into wings. Flag of NA.svg
Kirby Super Star

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Kirby's Fun Pak

The game lists Kirby Super Star as the only game, implying it was Meta Knight's debut appearance, but Meta Knight in fact first appeared in Kirby's Adventure.
Donbe and Hikari are the main characters in this video-game version of a classic Japanese folk tale. The game chronicles the lives of our fearless heroes, from their births to the time they drove the evil from the Island of Ogres. They are accompanied in their adventures by Ringo the dog, Matsunosuke the monkey, and Ohana the pheasant. Shin Oni Ga Shima
Japan Only


Many elements from Melee would go on to influence future Kirby titles. For example, the aesthetic of the Fountain of Dreams stage, as well as its theme music, would later be incorporated into the Kirby series proper, starting with Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land. In addition, a special Copy Ability would debut in Kirby & The Amazing Mirror called Smash, which is a condensed version of Kirby's moveset from this game. Along with that, Crazy Hand from the various single-player modes would appear alongside his counterpart as a Boss in Amazing Mirror as well.

As a final note, the base engine used to build Melee would later be used to build the release version of Kirby Air Ride.


  • The rest music from Kirby Super Star is used for the rest areas in 'All-Star Mode'.
  • The name of Event 16 - 'Kirby's Air Raid' - is a reference to the long-in-development Kirby title Kirby Air Ride, which would come out a few years later.


Main article: Super Smash Bros. Melee/gallery

Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese 大乱闘だいらんとうスマッシュブラザーズDXデラックス
Dairantō Sumasshu Burazāzu Derakkusu
Great Melee Smash Brothers Deluxe
Chinese Super Smash Bros. Melee
Dutch Super Smash Bros. Melee -
French Super Smash Bros. Melee -
German Super Smash Bros. Melee -
Italian Super Smash Bros. Melee -
Korean Super Smash Bros. Melee
Portuguese Super Smash Bros. Melee -
Russian Super Smash Bros. Melee
Spanish Super Smash Bros. Melee -